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Employee Engagement | 4 minute read

Women who lead: A discussion with Fe league on sharing your accomplishments

July 27, 2022

WWL discussion call Fe League for blog-1

This past month, WilsonHCG’s Women Who Lead employee belonging group (EBG) met with the co-founders of Fe league for a candid discussion around career growth and leadership. (Fe league is an organization aimed at supporting women in leadership.)

We had a great discussion with members Keri Higgins-Bigelow, Jamie Lawless, Amanda Herring and Cherie Silberman on career growth and journeys. Hearing from others about their successes and failures – and how they approach leadership – is not only inspiring but helpful as we build our own career paths.

Below are some of the key takeaways from the discussion:

Career growth is not necessarily step by step

There’s no “wrong” or “right” way to build your career. Many assume to become executive-level leadership you must get a masters degree or have a certain number of certifications. That’s simply not true in today’s work environment.

In fact, the non-traditional career path is beneficial in building a career of work that meets your passion and interests. Building a foundation of knowledge and utilizing this knowledge and experience is key to growth.

Thought leader vs people leader

Leadership, at its best, is a way of accomplishing objectives genuinely. And make no mistake — people are always paying attention to what you’re doing and how you act. One of the resounding agreements during the group was to be radically yourself and that means the very real, human parts of you as well.

That said, there are many ways to grow, whether supporting others as a people leader or mastering your specialty. There is also lateral growth in becoming skilled and knowledgeable in various areas to help connect the dots between roles, departments, processes and more. It’s important to contribute based on your strengths and lean into that — do what makes sense to you and follow and honor that. Do so radically.

Mentorship and reverse mentorship

Supporting others in their journeys often leads to personal development. Understanding different perspectives and experiences are great exposure opportunities. Be sure to surround yourself with supportive mentors, even if they’re not formally assigned. The greatest lessons can come from tidbits of advice from many different people, not just one mentor alone. “Women leaders are important and valuable, but don’t discount men or other mentors of varying gender, ages, ability, or race because they can be sponsors and advocates for you as well by opening new doors and perspectives.”

Always think beyond your role

Do your job well, but always have an “on the horizon” mindset toward where you want to go. Think about this bigger picture and strategy and share it with your leaders consistently; that way, they know what you’re accomplishing and what your motivations and aspirations are. (This might be the hardest part for some of us, sharing our own success.)

A great leader will listen to your suggestions about how we can do things better. This is a great way of communicating that you’re thinking ahead and that you’re not sitting and waiting for opportunities to fall in your lap. Great leadership comes from thinking critically about how you can add more value and impact the business. You can do this by pitching a course or conference for further learning, for example. Curiosity goes a long way.

Proudly share accomplishments

Celebrate your and others’ accomplishments in business regularly. Whether it’s sharing wins on a Friday or shouting someone out, create routines and normalize this in your team. You’ll be surprised how fast this spreads! It also gives leaders a greater line of sight into what’s being achieved. Don't think of it as self promoting; it’s contributing value.

About Marnie McCormac

Marnie is a talent development analyst at WilsonHCG. With an eye for detail and a passion for HR and people, she's always seeking ways to improve processes and team productivity. Marnie enjoys combining her experience in HR and student leadership to bring new ideas and innovation to her work in the launch of our Global Internship Program.